This Sunday, the 30th of the Year, the reading was the following:
Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.
Jesus was without sin – like us in all things but sin, Hebrews 4:15ff assured us – but with his people he offered sacrifice for sin. The text tells us this was for himself as well as for us, so close was/is his association with us.
Mary was preserved from all sin from her conception, from the first moment of her life. Jesus by virtue of his nature as God and Man could not sin – but he took our sinfulness to himself, not even letting the guilt and shame and hurt of sin separate us from him. So the self-righteous among his contemporaries would reject him, the Holy One of God, as a sinner among sinners, blasphemous, and kill him.
The way of the Lord is to embrace weakness, endure misrepresentation, and help the floundering to the firm ground of God’s love and truth.
- What weakness in you does the Lord long to minister to?
- How can you show solidarity today with those who struggle?
Image of Jesus from the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton. (C) 2015, Allen Morris.